Sunday, 29 September 2013

Appendix, Why I Wrote This Book

The most surprising thing about writing this book was the number of people who seem afraid to read it. They commonly believe that I must have a sinister agenda. Not only strangers but even some friends now view me with deep suspicion. If you fall into this category then please, at least read this section before writing me off.

There seem to be three main beliefs which cause some people to stop reading:

1)      I am a racist who hates coloured people and especially Arabs. I have written this book to demonize their religion.
2)      I am Jewish, or working for Jews to promote a Jewish agenda.
3)      I have written this book to brainwash people into a whole new and dangerous set of beliefs which will lead to violence and oppression against Muslims.

Very few people who have finished the book still hold these views. Some have given useful criticism which has helped me to improve it. It is very frustrating however to hear “well, I haven’t read it, but I still don’t agree with it”.

For this reason I will try to answer some of these points in the hope that people will read this book with an open mind and draw their own conclusions from it.

So starting with the first point, Islam is not a race of people. Neither is it mainly practiced by a single race of people as could be argued for Judaism or Hinduism. Islam is a belief system, an ethical code and a set of ideas which guide its followers whatever their ethnic background may be. 

At no point does “race” enter this discussion. There are many “white” Muslims from Western countries who have converted to this faith. Islam is the same for these people as it is for an Arab or African follower.

The reason I became interested in this subject was through a friend at work who was an Arab. He was finding out about Islam through an Arabic internet site called Annaqed[1], which means “critic” in that language. 

Fortunately the site had an English section and I began to learn things about Islam which I hadn’t heard anywhere else. This led me to books and websites which gave me an understanding of the principles of Islam. I have tried to clearly explain these principles in this book.

One Islamic scholar who has not only assisted me in writing this book, but has become a close personal friend, is Pakistani professor Daniel Scott. Like him, I strongly believe that the people who have the most to gain from an honest and frank appraisal of the Islamic religion are Muslims themselves. After reading this book I hope you will agree.

Secondly, I’m not Jewish and neither am I working for Jews (or anyone else for that matter). Whether or not Jews run the world, or are trying to take over the world is not discussed in this book in any way shape or form.

 This book is primarily about Mohammed and Islam. Yes, Jews feature in this book, because they featured prominently in parts of Mohammed’s life. Trying to tell his story without mentioning Jews, would be like telling Jesus’ story without mentioning Jews.

Understanding this subject will give insights into the relations between Jews and Muslims. How you incorporate this information into your own world view however, is entirely for you to decide.

As to whether this book is propaganda intended to brainwash people, consider what is written in it. This book contains facts about Mohammed’s life and the Islamic religion. These facts are easily checkable and I have tried wherever possible to make it easy for the reader to do their own research. A quick internet search or a trip to an Islamic bookshop is all that is needed to verify what is written here.

Interwoven with these facts is my own interpretation of what is meant by them. Whilst any opinion contains bias, I have tried as far as possible to keep things simple and logical. By doing so, I hope to encourage readers to think about the subject and question it from their own perspective. 

I acknowledge that there is a huge range of opinion amongst both Muslims and non-Muslims about the meaning of Islam. What I have tried to set down are the broad principles. These are widely agreed upon by most mainstream Islamic scholars.

Please feel free to disagree with my opinions. Starting a well-informed discussion about Islam is more important to me than being proved right. Although some people have disagreed with my assessment of this subject, no one has yet successfully explained where I might have gone wrong. If you can figure it out, please let me know.


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